A cold wind is blowing through the entertainment industry. And it comes with opportunistic purges of the ‘older white men’ filling its ranks. Whenever I speak to anyone in the industry, cancel culture looms large over the conversation. There’s an industry within the industry looking for provocations to set off another purge and demand a change in leadership in order to take it over. That’s just how critical race theory works.
This story tangentially involves me because the real target was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Golden Globes.
You’ll recall Ricky Gervais doing his thing at the 2020 Golden Globes. That sort of thing will go by the wayside. Since the HFPA is traditionally somewhat more independent and less predictable than the Oscars (though Chadwick Boseman’s ghost losing to Anthony Hopkins at this year’s black nationalist themed Oscars is a reminder that a few of the old white men are still around at the Academy), it’s an obvious target.
All it took was a provocation.
Mark Tapson has a great article about that.
In a panicked move to signal its commitment to racial justice, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a gaggle of Los Angeles-based, international journalists, has booted 88-year-old member Philip Berk from its ranks. The South African-born Berk was not just a run-of-the-mill reporter in the association; he had belonged to it for 44 years and was an eight-time president there. His unforgiveable transgression? Last weekend he shared an email with HFPA members, staff, general counsel, and COO containing a cut-and-pasted article which slammed the powerful Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as “a racist hate organization.”
Berk reportedly did not cite the source or add the link in his email, but the Los Angeles Times identified the article in question as “BLM Goes Hollywood,” written by Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and posted at FrontPage Mag on Monday, April 12.
I don’t know Berk personally. I don’t name those people I do, for precisely this reason. The one person I do name occasionally has already been canceled, but I still try not to call attention to him because it takes very little to get canceled these days.
My article, BLM Goes Hollywood took on the hypocrisy of BLM and Hollywood. It’s the Hollywood part that most likely led to the cancelation.
Unlike Cullors and Garza, both of whom came out of Los Angeles, Opal came from Arizona, but Hollywood is the common denominator of the founders of Black Lives Matter.
The founders of BLM have gone to work acting, writing, consulting, and promoting for Hollywood because their racist hate movement was always an entertainment industry production. BLM’s race riots destroyed communities and small businesses, but its brands and buzzwords were a corporate marketing campaign backed by industry talent. Like Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast, it was a production, even if the physical destruction of the riots was all too real.
The Los Angeles Times had been running a campaign against the HFPA to do the usual critical race theory takeover. Its article contains quotes like these…
The email lands at a sensitive time for the HFPA, which has come under pressure for not having any Black members as well as allegations of ethical and financial lapses raised in a Times investigation into the group. Last month, the group behind the Golden Globe Awards pledged to make “transformational change” and retained a strategic diversity advisor, Shaun Harper, a professor of racial, gender and LGBTQ issues at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and an outside law firm, Ropes & Gray, to audit and review its policies and membership requirements and bylaws. The HFPA, which in recent weeks has reached out to the National Assn. of Black Journalists and NAACP, plans to announce a set of reforms on May 6…
“The fact that you’re not recognizing the gravity of your statement is disturbing,” wrote Husam “Sam” Asi.
Asi, a Palestinian born in Israel, told members during a meeting last year to discuss hiring a diversity consultant (ultimately rejected) that he’d worked in many different countries in many different fields but that he’d never encountered as many “racist comments” as he had in this association.
These dramatic productions are a regular feature of the industry. The endgame is obvious. And older members, sometimes baffled by the assault, react to it by trying to reach their colleagues with the facts, only to get canceled
Anyone who knows any 20th-century history will be quite familiar with how that progressed in the USSR and Germany.
The LA Times, it ought to go without saying, is sloppy and incompetent. Neither the LA Times, nor any of the other media outlets, nor the HFPA which speedily went into purge mode, could explain what precisely was so offensive about the article.
Aside from calling BLM a hate group.
Most of the media coverage consisted of rewriting the LA Times smear. Google, in the usual fashion, treats each article as distinct which means if you search for “BLM Goes Hollywood”, you’ll see minor rewritten versions of the same hit piece, while the original article is buried.
That’s a minor feature of the Silicon Curtain.
The coverage rather deliberately missed the point of the article of which the Cullors house was only a jumping-off point. Breitbart’s David Ng actually got it when he wrote that, “The L.A. Times identified the article as coming from Frontpage, the conservative news site run by the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center. ‘BLM Goes Hollywood,’ published April 12, analyzed the increasingly close ties between BLM leaders and the entertainment industry, which has showered them with lucrative production deals.”
The damning part of the article wasn’t about Cullors. It was about how Hollywood was monetizing racism.
Hollywood had been stagnating. Every piece of IP or intellectual property had been locked down by giants like Disney, and the staggering cost of Silicon Valley streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime sinking billions into developing original content to keep subscription viewers on their plantation had made it impossible for much of the old industry to compete on its own turf.
Now there are books to adapt into movies, TV series to launch, and countless entertainment industry products to sell to guilty liberal suburban moms who joyfully grapple with the depths of their own racism by binge-watching black pain. And there are the BLM co-founders to help Hollywood get all the political cred that it needs to make a killing out of racism on a budget.
Forget Hearst’s “You furnish the pictures. I’ll furnish the war.” The war is easy to furnish. It’s the pictures that are expensive.
The damage from the BLM race riots surpassed $2 billion. That sounds like a lot of money, and individually it wiped out countless businesses, crushed neighborhoods and communities, and took more lives and dreams than will ever be accounted for, but that’s nothing compared to the $17 billion that Netflix blew on programming in just one year. And the best part is that $2 billion was entirely paid for by ordinary Americans, insurance companies, and non-industry types.
Think of the Kenosha riots as the Atlanta burning scene in Gone With the Wind. But no Hollywood studio had to sacrifice its own sets to produce all that footage. Race rioters were happy to burn down American cities as publicity for Hollywood social justice projects.
It’s understandable why the Los Angeles Times and the media didn’t want to engage with the actual content of the article.